Barcelona star: I would like to see Griezmann at Barca

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has said that he would welcome the prospect of Antoine Griezmann linking up with him in Catalonia, despite the striker’s poor start to the season.

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has recently slated his squad for a lack of match-winners, where France striker Griezmann has managed to register only three goals in all competitions so far this campaign.

Atletico Madrid v Qarabag FK - UEFA Champions League

However, despite his disappointing form, Griezmann’s French compatriot Umtiti would still love to see the 26-year-old sporting the blue and red of Barcelona.

Reported by Spanish publication​ Marca, Umtiti said: “If it is an option, I would tell Griezmann to come to Barcelona. I have a great friendship with him. We can see by his work with Atletico, he’s a top level player.”

Having played under both Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde during his time at Barcelona, Umtiti has highlighted the two managers’ different approaches towards the game, emphasising the calming aspect that Valverde brings to the squad.

“Each coach is different,” explained Umtiti. “As such we have seen a different way of working. The new coach is more relaxed, has a different way of managing and he brings calmness.”

FC Barcelona v Juventus - UEFA Champions League

Umtiti also provided an update on another French compatriot of his – Ousmane Dembele – who is in the closing stages of his rehabilitation from a serious calf injury, while Umtiti himself has been impressed with the 20-year-old’s eagerness to return to action.

Umtiti said: “It’s complicated but I see he is animated and energetic. He wants to come back and learn Spanish quickly. It is frustrating, but when he can play, people will see a really great player.”

Umtiti also saved praise for Gerard Pique for addressing the issue in Catalonia’s quest to gain independence.

“I am part of this club, a club with its own opinions,” said Umtiti. “You cannot isolate yourself, Pique explained to us what was happening when we played Las Palmas. He has the right to express himself. He is a very smart person.”